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Lion Links: 12/6/20

Tottenham coach wants to discuss Alex Morgan’s future with Spurs, Americans abroad can’t stop scoring, Soto called in to USMNT camp, and more.

SOCCER: NOV 29 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal - New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s been a week without Orlando City soccer and it feels like a month. Part of that is just the way 2020 is, but it was more fun when the Lions were playing. The USMNT will play Wednesday night and there’s a chance we could see one or more of our guys on the field against El Salvador. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but it could happen.

I put up our Christmas tree yesterday, because it’s December and because I’m not an insane person who puts up their decorations in November — or an even more insane person who leaves their decorations up all year. I am not sure if I dislike putting the decorations up more than putting them away or vice versa. While I ponder that question, let’s get to the news of the day.

Tottenham Coach Wants to Discuss Morgan’s Future with Spurs ASAP

Alex Morgan has a new coach at Tottenham and Rehanne Skinner said she wants to discuss the Orlando Pride star’s future with Spurs as soon as possible.

“I have not been with the team for long but those are conversations that need to be had as soon as possible,” the head coach said, facing the media for the first time in her new role. But we have to get this game up and running this weekend and start the league in the right way. Then, we will assess where we are with Alex, look at the future and see what that looks like for her with the club moving forward.

“She is obviously a fantastic character to have in the environment with her experience and she is definitely moving in the right direction now.”

Morgan is not expected to be with Tottenham beyond the 2020-2021 season and the Pride are expecting her back for next season, protecting the striker in the recent NWSL Expansion Draft.

Americans Can’t Stop Scoring in Europe

It was a big day for Yanks abroad Saturday as national teamers kept finding the net. It was the first time in 15 years that three different Americans scored goals on the same day in the world’s top five leagues. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Christian Pulisic became just the fourth U.S. player to score 10 Premier League goals when he scored against Leeds United. Pulisic entered the game when it was 1-1 and put the game away in the 93rd minute in a 3-1 win.
  • Gio Reyna scored a banger on Saturday for Dortmund in a 2-2 draw against Frankfurt.
  • Weston McKennie scored his first with Juventus to make it 1-1 and his team went on to beat Torino, 2-1.

Meanwhile, Yunus Musah has inked an extension that will keep him with Valencia through the 2025-2026 season.

Sebastian Soto Added to USMNT Camp

Speaking of Americans, Gregg Berhalter added Telstar forward Sebastian Soto to his USMNT roster on Saturday. Soto, who is the sixth forward on the current squad, is trying to build on his last performance, in which he scored a brace on his USMNT debut against Panama. In that 6-2 win, Soto became just the fifth USMNT player to score a brace on his debut and only the second to do it off the bench.

Utah Royals Reportedly Moving to Kansas City

According to reports, Utah Royals FC is on the cusp of moving to Kansas City. The club was founded nearly three years ago, back on Dec. 17, 2017, when Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen purchased an expansion franchise and FC Kansas City folded, with FCKC player contracts transferring to the new Utah side. Now, after two seasons of not making the NWSL playoffs, the Royals appear to be on their way to Kansas City. Utah players were told of the plan to move the club, although the deal is not yet complete. Both RSL and Utah Royals FC have been for sale since August.

Marta’s Brazil Teammate Says Women’s Soccer Growing in Brazil

Brazilian international Tamires had a Q&A with FIFA.com, Brazil, where she addressed a number of topics, including the popularity of the women’s game in her country. Tamires said the sport’s jump can be traced back to last year’s World Cup, which included the passionate and heartfelt appeal from Marta after Brazil’s exit.

I think the Women’s World Cup last year gave a big boom to women’s football. We went from having one reporter covering our matches to having this immense visibility. That was another wow moment. It’s helped rocket the popularity of women’s football in Brazil, but it’s important that we continue growing the sport year by year.

Free Kicks
  • In case you were wondering if Ali Riley planned to return to the Orlando Pride:
  • Columbus Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room is questionable for today’s Eastern Conference final against the New England Revolution at 3 p.m.
  • Reports say that Atlanta United will hire Gabriel Heinze as the club’s third head coach. He most recently managed Velez Sarsfield from 2017-2020, stepping down voluntarily after last season.
  • Just days after failing to put away chances in a 3-1 Champions League loss to PSG, Manchester United put more of those opportunities away, coming from behind to beat West Ham, 3-1. It was the first EPL match played in front of fans since the pandemic shutdown, and it was United’s ninth straight league win away from home.
  • Those born on this date include Bewitched star Agnes Moorehead (1900), notorious gangster Baby Face Nelson (1908), football legend Otto Graham (1921), actress JoBeth Williams (1948), Animal House and Amadeus star Tom Hulce (1953), comedian Steven Wright (1955), R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck (1956), former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads (1956), filmmaker Judd Apatow (1967), former Australia/Everton/New York Red Bulls forward Tim Cahill (1979), and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (1992).

That’s all my time for today. Please enjoy what’s left of your weekend and let’s hope some of our Lions get on the field Wednesday night for the USMNT.